06 October 2022.

The Devotion2motion.com Adventure Sports Dictionary

Below is a list of words and terms used throughout the website with brief descriptions of their meaning and in some cases their etymology.
TIP: If you cannot find a term listed under a particular activity then try looking under general terms.

All Adventure Sports Terms

4X (4 Cross)
4 cross is a race between four mountain bike cyclists who ride side by side over a course comprising obstacles including various type of jump and berms. See also BMX cross, skier cross and boarder cross.

Any mountain belonging to the central European mountain range know as the Alps found in Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Of or relating to the Alps.


A person involved in the pursuit of alpinism. A mountain climber.

Plastic strips used to stiffen and stabilise a sail. High performance sails tend to have a greater number of battens, usually no more than seven. Battens can be adjusted to make them stiffer within their retaining pockets.

Nautical and mountaineering term meaning to secure or make fast.

A bend with a high bank. A banking bend. Designed to allow riders to travel through the corner quickly. Like a bob sleigh track bend. Berms feature in mountain bikings 4X, downhill and XC events as well as in BMX cross, skier cross and boarder cross.

Bike (full name - Bicycle; short form; Cycle)
Transport device comprising of a frame and two wheels that is ridden over ground. The front wheel is steered through handlebars attached via a steering column and forks. The rear wheel is driven by two pedals attached to a crank that turns a cog that winds a chain that turns another cog attached to the rear wheel.

Biker (Also called cyclist)
A person who goes for a cycle or goes cycling on any of various types of bicycle e.g. A Mountain Biker rides a mountain bike.

Biking (full name - Bicycling; short form; cycling)
The act of riding a bike (bicycle). Going for a bike ride.

Bomb-hole (Also bombhole)
A steep sided depression in the ground usually less than two meters deep and two meters wide. Designed for dropping into on a Mountain Bike or BMX and exiting, sometimes airborne.

Nautical: 1. An almost elliptical (eye shaped) spar (pole) to which a windsurf sail is fastened at one end, the other end being fixed to the mast by way of a clamping mechanism. The boom is angled perpendicular to the mast and usually positioned at a height that would locate it between the sailors' chest and shoulders. 2. A straight bar sitting near the base of and almost perpendicular to the main mast on a sailing vessel to which the main sail is fixed.

Boom Clamp 
A clamp for attaching the boom to the mast.

Carving Skis (Also carvers)
Skis with a varying degree of sidecut (see sidecut).

Chicken Run 
A short section of mountain bike trail providing alternative route to main trail usually for the avoidance of obstacles but sometimes as a short cut.

The corner of a windsurf sail by the outhaul end of the boom. Is attatched to the boom via the outhauls (see outhaul) cord that is threaded through an eye in the sail.

Dagger board 
A flat board usually no more than 20cm wide and 60cm long that protrudes downward from the middle of the windsurf board to provide stability like a boat's keel. Found on longer boards used in training.

Dolomite (Italian - Dolomiti; German - Dolomiten)
Any mountain belonging to the mountain range known as the Dolomites that form a sub-range of the Alps in the north east of Italy close to the Austrian border in a region known as the Sud (South) Tirol that was once part of the Austro-Hungarian empire before being annexed by Italy in 1919 at the end of the First World War.

Doubles (Also camel bumps)
A jump with two humps (like a Bactrian camel) separated by a hollow of varying depth. The rider ascends the first hump becoming airborne before landing on the far side of the second hump for a controlled descent.

Cord used to draw sail down the mast toward the mastfoot and controls the tension in the luff of the sail.

A vertical section (miniature cliff or sheer drop) of varying height between two sections of mountain bike trail. Could also be a term applied to a small cliff in skiing or snowboarding.

A short piece of sturdy but flexible strip of material (approximately 5cm wide) that forms a snug loop for the foot when attached to the board (similar to a horse riding stirrup in shape when loop is formed). Footstraps for both the front and back feet are found on either side of the board. Primarily used in high wind sailing to provide the rider with additional stability and board control.

Full Suss Mountain Bike 
A mountain bike with front and rear suspension.

Green Jersey  French - Maillot Vert
The green jersey is held by the rider with the most points in the Tour de France. Sprint markers are set out along the course of each day’s stage and points are awarded to the first three riders to pass those points. And more significantly points are awarded to the first 25 finishers of each stage.

Hard Tail Mountain Bike 
A mountain bike with front suspension only. A mountain bike without rear suspension.

A walk, usually in the back country. Often involves climbing a hill, wearing boots and carrying a back-pack (rucksack).

A person involved in the pursuit of hiking. A hill walker.

The act of walking, usually over rough ground. Going for a hike.

Karabiner (snap ring)
A metal clip with a securable spring latch for attaching a piton or joining two ropes.

Leading edge of the sail.

Maritime Alps (French - Alpes Maritimes)
An area of the central European mountain range known as the Alps located near the Mediterranean coast of France and along France's border with Italy. Also a political department of the French province of Cote-d'Azur.

Mast Track 
Long narrow recess on top of the windsurf board. The UJ(see UJ) is inserted into and run along this until it sits in the position the rider is happy with. The further toward the front of the board the UJ is in the mast track the more tuned the board and rig becomes for sailing upwind. The opposite is true for downwind sailing.

Mogul / Moguls (US - Also called bumps)
A mound of snow and ice formed as part of a section of ski slope usually covered in many mounds and known as a mogul field or bump run.

Mountain Bike (Abbreviation: MTB)
A bike specially designed to cope with travelling over rough ground and up and down hills. The design often incorporates suspension (see Full Suss Mountain Bike and Hard Tail Mountain Bike) and thick treaded tyres.

A person involved in the pursuit of mountaineering. A mountain climber.

The practice of climbing mountains. Often involves a range of skills including abseiling, hiking, skiing (see ski mountaineering) and ice climbing and/or rock climbing.

A Mountain over 3000 feet (ft) / 914 metres (m) in Scotland. So named after Sir Hugh Munro, who in 1891 was the first person to publish tables listing Scottish mountains over 3000-ft.

North Shore 
A raised wooden runway for riding over on a mountain bike. Often found in mountain bike parks and centres.

Cord and fixings used to draw the sail tight toward the section of the boom opposite to the mast end.

Piton From French
A metal spike that can be driven into a crevice and used to secure a rope etc.

Red Jersey French – Maillot Rouge
The red jersey is awarded by a jury to the rider deemed to be have been the most competitive – most aggressive – in the stage prior to the current Tour de France stage. A Super Competitor is designated by the jury at the end of the event.

Refers to the ensemble of the mast, mastfoot, boom and sail.

Rock Garden 
A section of mountain bike trail composed of either artificially placed or naturally embedded rock. Riders often experience varying levels of juddering. A known cure for constipation.

Rock Road 
A section of mountain bike trail composed entirely of rock. A natural geological feature providing a ride of varying degree of comfort depending on the presence and direction of strata where more than one strata is exposed.

Sailboard (Also windsurf board)
Another name for windsurf board.

Sailboarding (Also windsurfing)
Another word for windsurfing.

Sastruga / Sastrugi (Origin: From Russian – Zastruga meaning groove)
One of a series of snow and ice ridges – usually comprising v-shaped nodes – formed by the action of the wind. The apex of the v-shape can be an indication to the direction from which the wind was blowing by pointing that direction. This is useful in mountains as it can tell us that e.g. an easterly wind could result in snow being blown off east facing slopes onto west facing slopes thus creating a higher potential for an avalanche on the west facing slopes.

Shortie (Also shorty)
Wetsuit with short arms and legs. Usually 3mm thick.

Refers to the shape of the ski. The wider the tips and tails and narrower the hips the greater the sidecut. See carving skis and traditional skis.

Single-track (Also singletrack)
Narrow trail, often an existing footpath (natural singletrack).

Skeg (Also Fin)
Fin fixed to tail of windsurf board. It provides stability and drive to the board. Shaped like a shark or dolphin dorsal fin.

Ski / Skis Snow Skis
A long (approximately 1.5 - 2 meters) flat and narrow shaped (see sidecut) board curving upwards at the front. Originally made of wood, now of various man made materials including metals.

Ski Binding 
A clamping device generally positioned behind the centre of the ski used to fix a ski boot to a ski.

Ski Boot 
A firm but flexible boot made of hard plastics and other man-made materials and worn by a skier.

Ski Mountaineering 
The act of climbing mountains on skis usually using specialist equipment (see skins and alpine trekkers). Also often involves the other standard practices common in mountaineering (see mountaineering under hiking).

Ski Weg  (Also Bunny Run)
A narrow path or track at least as wide as a footpath but no wider than a car (Landrover track). Often exists to provide a link between pistes or as an alternative (more interesting) route down the mountain. Often found in forests.

Terrain that could be skied.

Skier (Also rider)
A person involved in the practice of skiing. A person who skis.

Skiing / skied 
The act of gliding over snow on a pair of skis. Often with the aid of poles (a single pole originally) used to propel the user forward or for balance when travelling downhill.

A strip of nylon based material with multiple closely formed barbs pointing in one direction on one side to provide resistance on a snow covered slope and prevent a ski sliding backwards. The other side is covered in an adhesive that sticks to the base of the ski. A skin is also fixed at either end of the ski by way of hook or clamping device.

A long (approximately 1.2 - 1.6 meters) flat shaped (see sidecut) board about 30cm wide curled slightly upwards at each end used for the practice of snowboarding. Similar to a kiteboard or wakeboard.

A person who snowboards.

The act of gliding - usually downhill - over snow on a snowboard. A rider stands on the snowboard strapped into bindings with feet apart heel to toe across the width of the board and slightly diverging. They press on their toes to turn one way and their heel to turn the other. Turning controls speed and direction.

Stealth Nannies (Origin: Coined by seasonaires working in Vassiliki, Greece)
Freewheeling (for the purpose of fuel economy) moped or motorcycle, usually found on back lanes and often ridden by locals of pensionable age.

Step-up (Also Rock Steps)
Any obstacle on an uphill section requiring the rider to lift the front wheel (wheelie) and then the back wheel up on to it.

Surging water forming breaking waves. Foaming water. The act of surfing.

Surf Board 
A shaped - streched oval - buoyant board made of lightweight plastics designed for the practice of surfing.

A person who surfs.

The act of riding waves - usually breaking waves - on a surf board or other floatation device. Term now applied to navigating the internet via a web browser.

Table Top (Also Tabletop)
A jump with a flat section between the ascending and descending ramps. This type of jump is common in mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding.

Traditional Skis (Also straight skis)
Skis with no sidecut. Straight skis. Preferred tool of bump(mogul) skiers.

Device used for attaching a mast foot to a surf board.

Rope used to pull rig from water.

Neoprene protective swimwear of varying thickness and design. Usually 3mm or 5mm thick. Can be either full body or shorty (see shorty).

White Jersey French – Maillot Blanc
The white jersey is held by the best placed rider on the Tour de France who was 25 or less as at 1 January of the current race year. They are the fastest young cyclist with the best overall time once the times for each stage have been added together.

The act of riding a windsurfer or windsurf board.

Windsurf Board  (Also known as Sailboard)
A shaped buoyant board (surf board) made of lightweight plastics that floats in water and supports a flexible mast, sail, boom and sailor.

Windsurf Mast 
Vertical spar (pole) supporting windsurf sail. Originally made from epoxy resin, now more commonly of lightweight carbon composite materials.

Windsurf Sail 
A sail specially designed for a windsurf board. Modern sail construction is based on aircraft wing design. The sails are constructed with durable plastic films and where required reinforced with Kevlar.

1. The full collection of equipment that enables one to windsurf including windsurf board and rig. 2. A person who windsurfs or is involved in the practice of windsurfing.

Windsurfing (Also known as Sailboarding)
The sport of riding over water on a sailboard propelled by wind in the sail. The act of sailing a windsurfer.

XC (full name - Cross-country)
XC is the abbreviation used for the cross-country mountain bike riding.

Yellow Jersey French – Maillot Jaune
The yellow jersey is held by the rider leading the Tour de France. They are the cyclist with the best overall time once the times for each stage have been added together.